Maria Catt on transition and social class

Maria Catt (Carey) bravely discusses the topic of how your options for treating dysphoria change according to how much money you have. I couldn’t agree more. The narrative that you can only be yourself after extensive surgery is a narrative that you can only buy into if you can afford extensive surgery. If you can barely pay your rent, then trying to budget thousands of dollars to give to already rich surgeons is going to bring extra stress to your life. (I don’t have a solution to that other than overthrow capitalism!)


9 thoughts on “Maria Catt on transition and social class

  1. A truly egalitarian health care system would prioritize funding treatment of proven efficacy and would ensure it was all available to everyone who needed it. As health care resources are finite, it would not mean providing all the health care everyone desires all the time. So unless some evidence is provided that medical transitioning statistically and significantly alleviates dysphoria, including longterm, it would remain in the domain of optional procedures not covered by national health. Yet one more reason to increase gatekeeping, in order to filter out people with undiagnosed issues that would respond better to other treatment.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is dead-on.

    This is very much the way I was raised: if you can’t afford it, you can’t have it. So, if there was something that I wanted, I’d work, save my money, and then, when it was time to buy this magical thing that was going to make my life so much better, I’d find that I just couldn’t part with that hard-won money for something that may, or may not, actually make me ‘happy.’

    Because what I needed, really, couldn’t be bought. And I think that for a lot of people who want to transition, it is the last thing they need, they have so many other issues that need to be addressed, economically and psychologically. Transitioning, though, is the ‘magic bean’ that’s going to ‘fix’ everything that’s wrong in their world, but they all seem to forget the shit Jack had to go through once he climbed that beanstalk.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ll never forget how much it hurt when my working-class parents couldn’t afford to buy me a rocking horse, a beautiful redheaded porcelain baby doll I named Apricot, and talking doll Cricket. (I’ve never been a doll person at all, but I really wanted those two particular dolls, and I do like collectible dolls not meant for playing with.) It wasn’t that they didn’t want to make me happy, it was that they didn’t have enough money to spend on that. As an adult, it’s been a very important lesson to think about how my father justified spending about $2,000 on the 152K Mac in late ’84, in spite of how little money we had. That computer lasted us for nine years, enabled us to do a lot of things, and went with us every time we travelled, like a member of the family (since my father feared it being stolen). It wasn’t some toy with a short shelf life.

    I can’t imagine having tried to convince my parents I “needed” expensive, non-medically-necessary drugs and surgery as a child, preteen, or teenager. Had I been born a generation later, I’m positive someone would’ve tried to trans me for my so-called “tomboy” interests and actions, or that I myself might’ve become convinced I had to be a boy trapped in a girl’s body. This really is yet another trend that seems the near-exclusive domain of the bourgeoisie and the upper-classes. The proletarian have bigger concerns to deal with, more important things to spend money on.

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  4. What a lovely person! The class differences is something I can relate to, being raised by a singel mother, working her behind off on two jobs, to keep my sister and me in the same fancy attire our class mates had, in our affluent neighborhood. The hurt and humiliation she felt, when she couldn’t afford to send us to expensive summer camps, without having to take on yet more work. I can’t imagine what she would have felt if one of us had developed dysphoria, and needed hormones and/or surgery. Even if we have free medical care here in Norway, there are always extras, out of pocket. All these thoughts about how hard Mutter’n worked only dawned on me when I started out on my own. She’s my hero!
    I’ve never encountered Maria Catt before. Her sociopolitical analysis is so spot on, and not only on the transition element. The class struggle is real. It’s just unusual for me to hear americans even mention it. I’ll watch all her vids. Thank you, puplesage, for bringing her to my attention. And for all your wonderful writings. 😀
    PS! Sorry of I’ve missgendered Catt! I’ve yet to find out how they identify now. Anyway, it looks like a happy person. And if not outright happy, content. Content is good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What you said about healthcare in developed countries outside of the U.S., where they have various systems of nationalized healthcare, is spot-on. I live in the U.S., but I spent some time studying systems of healthcare globally in developed countries as an undergrad. Every system has its’ pluses and minuses, and in every system, some things are covered, others have to be paid for out-of-pocket.

      I would also add that teenagers, at least teenagers coming from more affluent families, where they are used to always having their needs and then some provided for, are unlikely to have a real understanding of the value of money. I come from a solidly middle-class family. My parents have never been upper-middle class, like many of the kids I went to school with. Though I have always been a thoughtful person, I had little understanding of just how much money my parents were spending on my needs as a teenager.

      Being an adult and having to provide for myself changes that picture dramatically. For many years, I really wanted breast reduction surgery. I have even met with a couple different surgeons to discuss my options and to see how much, if anything, insurance would cover for it. The first time I met with a surgeon, I was on a health care plan that *may* have covered *most* of the cost of the surgery. However, I would have to pay 1,000 out of pocket. Additionally, I would have to pay the entire COST of the surgery up-front and plan to get reimbursed from the insurance company. I know insurance companies are difficult to work with and have little faith that they would truly reimburse procedures that they pre-authorized, particularly without a lot of hassling them on my part. Putting down 6,000 or more dollars with the chance of not getting 5,000 or more back was enough to frighten me out of proceeding with the surgery. I was a college student at the time, and though I had the money saved up, the surgery was not important enough to me to go through with parting with the money.

      OTOH, if it was my parents making the up-front payment, I likely would have gone ahead with the surgery, without much anxiety regarding insurance reimbursement, especially if that was something my parents would be dealing with.

      TL;dr: Things look very different as an adult!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a tricky issue in certain respects. I don’t like the idea of destroying health body tissues. OTOH, if there is going to be a path for men to claim they are women and be seen and treated as such by the law, I do feel they should go through with SRS. This at least shows they are serious about their claim. Many MtFs use the fact that SRS is cost-prohibitive to say that men who still are fully male bodied should have access to women’s facilities, or else one is being not only transphobic, but classist. I wonder how many of these men would go through with SRS if it was covered by their insurance and how many are merely using this as an excuse to call people (women) “transphobic” and bigoted.

    Thinking as I type here, but perhaps SRS should be covered by insurance, but with lots of gatekeeping, as was the case only decades ago? I don’t know.


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